As we come to the end of 2022, it is a good time to reflect on the last 12 months and what may lie ahead in 2023.
It has been a challenging year. Covid is still with us and has been joined by an energy crisis, rising food prices, inflation, and the continuing conflict in Ukraine. In addition, there are the ever-present risks of climate change and biodiversity loss.
Despite these huge issues, I am inspired by the resilience, ingenuity, and compassion of the Exeter community, our students, alumni, colleagues partners, and suppliers. I am optimistic – as a business school with a focus on purposeful leadership and protecting the environment, we are strongly positioned to address complex challenges and help build a better future for all.
Over the last 12 months, Exeter has been involved in inspiring research focussed on tackling environmental and social change. For example, our research has contributed to key reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Along with colleagues from Lancaster University, our research has looked at how a market-led approach could help governments and businesses to be properly informed about exposure to future climate risks. With several other business schools, we have analysed the key knowledge gaps to help cities and businesses operate within the Earth’s system limits.
Working with partners, whether academic or business is so important and I believe the supreme source of new and innovative solutions. In September, the University of Exeter launched a partnership with JO Hambro Capital Management. In this partnership, we will collaborate on new research and executive education around systemic risk and sustainability. The objective is to help the latest thinking on global climate change systems risks be integrated into company boardrooms across the world. In October, we entered into a new partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation focussed on moving to a circular economy where production and consumption use fewer resources and waste materials are reused.
As a community, innovation to complex problems is at the very heart of everything we do, whether that is through our teaching, research, partnerships, or our day-to-day operations. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the whole Exeter community that the business school received several accreditations and awards this year. These include EQUIS reaccreditation, a strong showing in REF 2021, and the award of the Small Business Charter. This was capped by winning Business School of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards. Thank you to everyone for your contributions and support.
What will the next 12 months bring? There will of course be surprises. However, I hope that out of these challenges and crises, we continue to innovate and find solutions that benefit all of society. Whether that is through the development of new energy sources, new technology, different ways of governing, or alternative business models, innovation from collaboration and partnerships is the key.
For now, I would like to wish you all the very best for a happy and healthy holiday, and look forward to working together in 2023.